Following is a core part of the Twitter experience, and gives people a way to see real time updates from accounts they’re interested in. However, we commonly see applications attempting to automate following or unfollowing to try to rapidly grow an account’s followers, or otherwise manipulate or game follow behavior. To be clear: These types of aggressive follow actions are an infringement of the Twitter Rules and Automation Rules, and may result in suspension of both an application and associated Twitter accounts.
Here are a few key points to bear in mind when following or unfollowing accounts using Twitter’s API:
Get user consent before taking any action on their behalf. For example, you shouldn’t automatically have users follow your own account whenever they authorize your app. Authorizing your app via OAuth does not by itself constitute consent to take action on behalf of a user.
Replicating another user’s follows, and other forms of bulk following, are not permitted. For example, you should not allow users to automatically follow all the accounts followed by (or who follow) a specified user.
Automated follow-back monitoring, and other forms of follower churning, are not permitted. For example, following 100 users, waiting 24 hours, then unfollowing the users who haven’t followed you back would be considered aggressive following. Repeatedly following and unfollowing a user is a form of spammy behavior, and is never allowed. Following an account is a way to express your interest in them, not a way to try to manipulate another user into following you back.
For additional information about following and unfollowing on Twitter, you should review these policies and articles:
You can ask questions about this policy using the Rules and Policies category.